What do hedge funds have in common with Iran’s nuclear program? Neither is prepared for a serious cyber attack according to Alphaserve Technologies, IT advisor to many large hedge funds.
Fund managers need to protect themselves not only from the outside in but from the inside out, says Arup Das, Alphaserve Technologies CEO and CTO. Das warns that programs used by employees every day provide “ideal channels” for “worms, malicious software and dishonest employees to siphon off confidential information."
New technologies like digital loss prevention (DLP) software and deep packet inspection firewalls can look inside the internet channel for any corporate data leaving the company and stop intentional or unintentional illicit transfers of information. Surprisingly though, many marquee names in the hedge fund industry do not have this essential protection even though some are in the process of adopting it, according to Das.
“The emphasis of hedge funds’ cyber security should be on the information that leaves the firm as much, if not more, than that which is coming in,” said Das in a statement. “The best hedge funds track every minute piece of information from the moment it enters their system and maintain detailed documentation on its every movement. It is constantly surprising to us that even some of the most recognized names in this industry do not meet this institutional standard of technological governance.”
Other potentially helpful technologies include network access protection, host-based firewalls, anti-virus and anti-spyware, and ring 0 protection software run in conjunction with network access control technologies. The key, says Das, is to make sure that corporate desktops are protected with the latest updates, patches and constant monitoring of internal communications.
Alphaserve Technologies serves as the IT advisor to over 100 financial services clients around the world including hedge funds, banks, private equity firms and broker dealers.